Toni Collette and Steven Mackintosh reveal nerves about sex scenes in BBC drama

The award-winning actress has described the script of Wanderlust as the best she has worked with.

The stars of upcoming BBC drama series Wanderlust Toni Collette and Steven Mackintosh have both admitted they were initially nervous about filming the numerous sex scenes that feature in the programme.

Wanderlust follows the story of therapist Joy Richards (Collette) who attempts to save her marriage to husband Alan (Mackintosh) after a cycling accident causes them to reassess their relationship.

The show’s writer, award-wining playwright Nick Payne, revealed during a question and answer session he wanted the show to stand out from other romantic dramas and explore the character’s love lives by dramatising the physical intimacy between them.

Steven Mackintosh and Toni Collette
Toni Collette plays a therapist trying to get her marriage back on track in drama Wanderlust (Matt Squire/BBC)

Collette, 45, maintained she did not have any reservations about taking part in a drama with many sex scenes, but admitted she was initially nervous about shooting them.

Collette said: “It’s a part of life. It’s a very lifelike show. It’s nice for it be out in the open. I mean, Jesus. I think I got quite used to it!

“You can’t half halfheartedly act sexual scenes, you have to make it feel real, because you can tell when you’re watching something if it’s not energetic.

“So, I was nervous at first but it’s such a part of Joy and Alan trying to find a way of making their relationship sustainable and I guess the more steeped I was in the story the easier it became, to be honest.

“By the end of it, I had no concerns about it, it was just these people and what they were going through.”

Actor Steven Mackintosh
Luther star Steven Mackintosh will play Collette’s on-screen husband in Wanderlust (Ian West/PA)

Speaking alongside Collette, Luther star Mackintosh, added: “I agree. Of course, I was incredibly nervous to start with.

“But I think with sex on TV, when I watch something, sometimes I’m taken out of the story and I feel like I’m suddenly watching two actors in an explicit scene rather than characters.

“I feel with this, it’s so intrinsically part of it and the way Nick writes the awkwardness, the fumbling, the moments in between, that’s what takes the curse out of all of that.

“It’s really rooted in these people trying to figure things out, and that feels completely real for me.”

Emmy and Golden Globe winner Collette, described Wanderlust’s script as the best she has ever worked with.

She said: “The first TV show I did started in 2008, United States of Tara. At that point it really did feel like it seemed to be a new wave, especially for women.

“You could be more honest and risque. I generally feel at the moment there are massive budgeted films and they seem to be watered down and therefore have nothing really to say. In TV it’s kind of the opposite, which is very exciting.

“I have to say, for me it’s all about the writing. This is pretty much the best writing I’ve ever worked with. And one of the best, best jobs of my entire career.

“I’m a 45-year-old woman and I am a pig in shit. I can’t believe my luck, honestly – even through the rain in Manchester over winter.”

Wanderlust will air on BBC One this autumn.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access


Today's horoscope


See a different horoscope: